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Publishers Corner: Fox News Scandal: Ads Pulled from ‘O’Reilly Factor,’ New Lawsuit Against Ailes

Publishers Corner

Clifton Harris

Publisher of The San Bernardino AMERICAN News

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As Fox News is reeling from the release of a staggering report revealing numerous sexual harassment lawsuits filed against its star, Bill O’Reilly, two advertisers have pulled ad placements during “The O’Reilly Factor.” Meanwhile, women continue to come forward with claims of a misogynistic culture at the company.

Julie Roginsky, a Democratic political consultant and Fox News contributor, filed a lawsuit in New York state court on Monday against the network; its former chairman, Roger Ailes; and Bill Shine, the network’s co-president. Roginsky accuses them of denying her a permanent hosting job after she refused Ailes’ sexual advances.

“During these meetings, Ailes additionally (and without irony) volunteered the advice that Roginsky should engage in sexual relationships with ‘older, married, conservative men’ because ‘they may stray but they always come back because they’re loyal,’” the claim states.

“Ailes also remarked that he was loyal but that loyalty was a two-way street. These comments and their delivery made it clear that Ailes wanted a sexual relationship with Roginsky.”

Roginsky also claimed in filings that at her meetings with Ailes, he “usually sat in a low armchair.”

“He repeatedly insisted on a kiss ‘hello’ requiring Roginsky to bend down to kiss him. Ailes would consistently position himself in such a way as to look down Roginsky’s dress.”

There are at least two separate lawsuits, against Fox News and Ailes, by women claiming they were sexually harassed. Last year, on behalf of Ailes, Fox News agreed to pay $20 million to settle a harassment suit by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. He denied any wrongdoing but resigned in July.

Also in 2016, former Fox News anchor Andrea Tantaros filed a separate sexual harassment lawsuit that was sent to private arbitration.

“Bill, you’re my boss!” a former Fox News producer said in a lawsuit she told Bill O’Reilly when he propositioned her for sex.

Roginsky, 43, claims in the lawsuit that Ailes, 76, in early 2015 told her he was considering her for a full-time slot on highly rated talk show “The Five.” But after she declined his advances, the job never materialized and she lost her spot as a contributor on the show, she said.

She also sued Shine, Fox News co-president, asserting that he failed to investigate her claims. Roginsky also said in her lawsuit that a misogynistic culture at Fox had not changed since Ailes resigned last year.

“They need to sweep that place out with a shovel,” Jeff Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for executive programs at the Yale School of Management, said in an interview.

Sonnenfeld thinks that amid the continued revelations, 21st Century Fox should consider more changes to the executive team that worked with Ailes.

Roginsky, who has appeared on Fox News programs since 2011 and writes a column for the network’s website, is seeking unspecified damages under a New York City law that prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

According to CNN, more women employees at Fox want to speak out against Ailes but do not come forward in fear of losing their jobs.

Susan Estrich, a lawyer for Ailes, refuted Roginsky’s sexual harassment claims, calling them “total hogwash.”

“This is about someone who wants to pile-on in a massive character assassination in order to achieve what she did not accomplish on the merits,” Estrich said in a statement.

Then it would be “a massive character assassination” taking place for more than a decade. That’s how long women employees at Fox have claimed that Ailes and O’Reilly have sexually harassed them, according to reports from The New York Times this past weekend.

In addition to the millions paid in support of Ailes, Fox, its parent company 21st Century Fox and O’Reilly have paid approximately $13 million in five settlements. There is an ongoing federal investigation centered on whether 21st Century Fox misled investors by hiding payments to Ailes’ and O’Reilly’s accusers.

But the more than $30 million paid out is just a portion of the nearly half a billion dollars in advertising revenues between 2014 and 2016 that O’Reilly created for the news channel during “The O’Reilly Factor.”

The network will no longer be receiving an estimated $1.9 million in ads from Mercedes-Benz during O’Reilly’s timeslot.

“The allegations are disturbing and, given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now,” Donna Boland, the manager of corporate communications at Mercedes-Benz, said in a statement.

The company’s ads during O’Reilly’s program “[have] been reassigned in the midst of this controversy.”

Hyundai said it would reallocate upcoming ads due to “the recent and disturbing allegations.”

“We had upcoming advertising spots on the show, but are reallocating them,” Hyundai said in an emailed statement to The Times.

“As a company, we seek to partner with companies and programming that share our values of inclusion and diversity,” the statement said. “We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation as we plan future advertising decisions.”

Will other companies follow their lead?

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Publishers Corner…by Clifton Harris…Publisher

This story is for all my Republican friends that just follow Fox News, and the leader of the Republican Party Rush Limbaugh.

 

Lately, we have all heard the chatter in the news and various talk shows the reports of impeaching the President. The narrative has shifted to, “it was started by Democrats to raise money for the 2014 elections. Speaker John Boehner has said “it’s all a scam started by White House Democrats,” during a recent press conference. He looked into the cameras and lied to the American people again. The latest impeachment talk was by half term Governor Sarah Palin, who still wants to be relevant with little success. Here is a timeline. Timeline prepared by Phillip Bump writes about politics for The Fix. He previously wrote for The Wire, the news blog of The Atlantic magazine. He has contributed to The Daily Beast, The Atlantic, The Daily, and the Huffington Post. Philip is based in New York City.

2009: The Early Birds

March: Radio host Michael Savage suggests that the time has come — less than 50 days after Obama took office — for the president to be impeached.
- Why? Obama used executive orders to, among other things, allow the use of embryonic stem cells in science and medicine.

October: Former Republican strategist Floyd Brown, who helped create the anti-Michael Dukakis “Willie Horton” ad, suggests that Obama be impeached.

- Why? “Impeachment is no more or less than the recall of an elected official who isn’t up to the job,” he wrote at WorldNet Daily. (Worth noting: A fifth of Americans agree with this standard, even if the Constitution doesn’t.)

2010: The Fringe

May, November: Conservative author Joseph Farah writes multiple times about impeaching Obama.

- Why? In one instance, it’s because of an offer from the White House made to Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) to leave the state’s U.S. Senate primary. In another, it’s because of “the biggest and most egregious abuse of power in American history.”

2011: The Fringe Expands

March: Conservative author Larry Klayman on WorldNet Daily.

- Why? “Subverting the constitution.”

June: Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) posts six reasons Obama should be impeached on his Web site.
- Why? Breaking his oath to the Constitution, Obamacare, and a few other things.

August: Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Tex.) tells constituents that impeachment “needs to happen.”- Why? “Damage” to the country.

October 4. Rep. Michele Bachmann tells a supporter that she agreed with his assertion that Obama be impeached to “get him out of the way.”
- Why? Nothing specific.

2012: The Great Romney Hope

It appears pundits took the year off, what with the prospect of the November election looming. Also, Obama was re-elected. So...

2013: Mainstream Conservatives Feel It Out

February: On Fox News, network legal analyst Andrew Napolitano argues that what Obama has done is “almost an impeachable offense.”
- Why? Obama made the budgetary cuts demanded under the sequestration passed by Congress in a way Napolitano thought was intended to scare Americans and make Republicans look bad.

May: On his radio program, Glenn Beck suggests that it is “time to appoint a special counsel to explore impeachment of this president.”
- Why? Benghazi and the IRS scandal.

August: Rep. Kerry Bentvolio (R-Mich.) tells his constituents that impeaching Obama “would be a dream come true.”
- Why? It’s not clear.

October 13: Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tex.) indicates that a debt default would be “an impeachable offense” by the president.

2014: The Push Is On

At some point: Alan Keyes — defeated in the 2004 Illinois Senate race by Barack Obama — unveiledPledgeToImpeach.com, a Web site collecting signatures (and, naturally, donations) in support of impeaching the president.

- Why? For dismantling “our constitutional republic, our national security, our electoral system, our economic strength, our rights and liberties.”

January: Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst says that Obama should “face those repercussions, and whether that’s removal from office, whether that’s impeachment...”

- Why? For recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.

May: Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro, speaking directly into the camera, says that Obama’s dereliction of duty demands his impeachment.

- Why? Benghazi.

May: Author Andrew McCarthy releases a book that “makes the legal case to dump the president,” in the words of the conservative Washington Examiner.

- Why? IRS and Obamacare.

June: Former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) makes the case for impeachment.

- Why? The release of Bowe Bergdahl.

June: Napolitano is back, with a new rationale.

- Why? Bergdahl.

June: House candidate (and now Rep.-elect) Barry Loudermilk (Ga.) says at a forum that Obama deserves impeachment.

- Why? Not clear.

July 8: Finally, Sarah Palin weighs in.

- Why? The border crisis.

July 9. Boehner wasted no time in saying flatly, “I disagree.” But that didn’t quell rumors...

July 25. ... Thanks in part to Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer saying that Republicans had “opened the door for impeachment” with Boehner’s intended lawsuit.

July 27. The current fever was fueled in part by Rep. Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) non-answer to the impeachment question on “Fox News Sunday” this past weekend. Scalise’s decision not to answer Chris Wallace’s question (“Will you consider impeaching the president?”) led to headlines like “House GOP leader leaves presidential impeachment on the table.”

Which brings us to:

July 29. Boehner is clearly eager to put the impeachment rumors to bed, and it’s easy to see why, given the amount Democrats are raising for November. But it’s also easy to see why people might be skeptical. Last August, CNN reported on Boehner’s efforts to derail a roiling insurrection from his far-right flank: the push to shut down the government over Obamacare. The situation is different in many ways, but that, too, was once a pipe dream among the conservative commentators.

There was at least one Democrat (well, actually a Larouch-ite) pushing for an impeachment of the president: Texas U.S. Senate candidate Kesha Rogers, who made something of a name for herself arguing for the action. She came in second in the primary.

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